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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys -

Quite a lot of new cars don’t have water temp gauges. How would you know then if your thermostat was popped? Cold ish heater?
 

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I was told that people only worried when they had a gauge so the “norm” range increased to the point where it stopped worrying them. At this point the cost of the sender unit was difficult to justify and the gauge was replaced with a warning light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In my experience of pooped thermos, the engine always runs below operating temp.

And yep, I too heard - and experienced - the practice of changing the scale at which the temp needle moves (or, rather, doesn’t) in my old Polo. It never, ever went beyond 90 degrees. Which was reassuring, but also a lie that could have been hiding all manner of cooling horrors.

The Merc’s temp gauge is very eager to tell you what’s happening. On a hot day in heavy and slow traffic, the needle will creep right up to just below the red zone - 120 degrees - then the fan kicks in and the needle starts to drop. It’s a bit stressy watching it get that high, but at least it’s not lying or concealing issues.
 

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Once warmed up, the C63 is pretty steady at 90C. The problem is that the midpoint on the dial is 80C, so until you know the car it does always have the disquieting feeling that it's running a little too hot.
I assume (probably wrongly) that other C classes run at 80C and they couldn't be bothered to change the gauge scale.
 

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The ECU is monitoring temp anyway. I suppose the question is whether running cool, and therefore rich, would put the CEL on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey Bazza,

Same here. There’s a distinct and bold 80 degree marking on the dial, but when at normal operating temp, the needle points just above the 80 marking, which I guess to be about 82 degrees. I know from chatting with my Mercedes mechanic and other folks with 190s, that this is 100% correct/normal.

It seems so strange though that on the dial they chose to boldly highlight a temperature that has no relevance, and not the actual normal running temp. This lack of precision amuses me for either being very un-German, or for being German humour ?

(Actually - there could be some logic to it. Maybe the 80 degree marking says ‘if your needle is here, you can give it full beans from now on. You’re within the safe operating temp now.’ I only suggest that because my Speedo dial also has markings above certain speeds that indicates which gears I can safely drop down into without blowing up the engine or the gearbox. With that attention to detail, there must be some logic behind the 80 degree marking on the temp gauge. The challenge is... working out that logic!)
 

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Cool running engine and premature engine wear is a good thing isn't it? Certainly from a manufacturer's point of view. They probably did a survey and found so few people knew what the gauge is for that they thought 'what's the point'.
 

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Three of my current cars have no temperature gauge, and I'm fine with that. There's a blue light to tell you that the engine's not warmed up yet, an amber one (plus a 'beep' and a display message) to tell you it's a bit too hot, and a power reduction/shut-off system to protect the engine if things get more seriously overheated.

I think that's better than a gauge, and one thing fewer to worry about too. Maybe the temperature gauge is an anachronistic hang-over from the days when cars regularly over-heated and the driver had good reason to be constantly vigilant, in case the rad started boiling over (again). Performance cars used to have loads of gauges (it was a kind of status symbol) for oil temperature, pressure, etc, etc - arguably indicative of the fact that these were highly-strung and not entirely dependable machines that the driver would need to keep a careful eye on...

My newest car doesn't even have a rev counter, because the engine speed is controlled entirely by the car and not by the driver.
 

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A lot of the old Fiats I’ve had didn’t have temperature gauges, certainly the Cinquecento my son owned didn’t have one, although there was a red light that came on when the temperature was too high. At what point of the scale it decided to inform you I don’t know.
 

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Like the old oil pressure lights, which helpfully lit up red to tell you it was already FUBAR and it was too late to do anything about it?
 

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Back in the eighties, worked with a guy given a company Astra. It was a "needs" car not a "status" car so there were virtually no dials, just circular metal blanking plates, including for the clock.
 

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I have no coolant temp gauge on my BMW, but I do have an oil temperature gauge.


There is a way of getting the vehicles internal display to show the coolant temp, but you then loose the clock.
 

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I remember being in an Astra years ago and there were switch-shaped blanks on the rear doortrims instead of switches as it had winders!
Vauxhall always loved a switch blank. Mk2 Cavaliers used to have them scattered everywhere. I've never seen one that didn't have a least a few.
 

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At the time I was working on the facelift of the original Mondeo and as only 10% had any switches below the radio I designed a cassette-box slot to go in the “switch-hole” for the other 90% of cars to avoid blanking plugs.
 
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